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Old 11-24-2021, 08:22 PM   #21
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Cosmic Modular Ability 2 (20) (Physical +50%, Reduced time -1 +20%, Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30 mins -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills you don't have -20%, Net -15%) [17]
ALTERNATIVE ABILITY:
Cosmic Modular Ability 4 (40) (Mental +0, Reduced time -1 +20% Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30m -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills I don't have -20%, Net -65%) [14]/5=[3]
TOTAL: [20]
Physical is unnecessary. Modular Ability works for skills, techniques, and mental Advantages - you only need to add Physical if you want to be able to use it to grant yourself a Physical Advantage (Winged Flight, increased ST, etc). So, you're actually just looking at something like:

Cosmic Modular Ability (Reduced Time +20%; Single Slot -10%; Max Duration 30 minutes -25%; Takes Recharge 1 hour -30%; Unlearned Skills Only -20%) [3.5/level].

Of course, I don't think the above build is legal - Takes Recharge means an otherwise-continuous-use ability only lasts for 1 minute, you certainly can't extend that to 30 minutes with a Limitation! Of course, this is more a case of Takes Recharge being a Horrible Bad Deal for continuous-use abilities - as you note here, a 1 hour recharge is -30%, yet Maximum Duration, 1 minute limits it to the same amount of time of use and requires a 5 minute cooldown (not an option with Takes Recharge), but is worth a whopping -65%! There probably is room for a Limitation that can be taken in conjunction with Maximum Duration to extend its cooldown, but I don't think it would be worth quite as much... perhaps -10% for a 30-minute cooldown, -20% for a one-hour cooldown? With that adjustment, I'd be inclined to allow this (I'm largely fine with Unlearned Skills Only being -20% - Skills Only is -10%, and this is certainly a smaller subset of that, but I'd be inclined to replace Single Slot -10% with Only [1] in Each Skill -10%, as otherwise you have the oddity that this will improve a skill you don't know above the level of skills you do know if you have 2 or more levels of it*). Note, however, that I'd interpret any skills you gained via the Modular Abilities as being unavailable while the cooldown is in effect (I think technically MA being on a cooldown just means you can't rearrange your points, but that makes it into a bit of a point crock IMO).

*Consider a character who has Axe/Mace at DX-1[1], is relying on his Default of DX-5 for Broadsword, and has 4 levels of the above Modular Ability. With Single Slot, combined with Unlearned Skills Only, the character cannot use the Modular Ability to enhance his Axe/Mace skill, but he can use it (in fact, has to use it, if he wants to boost Broadsword at all) to boost his Broadsword to DX+1 [4]. To properly match Wild Talent (to a degree, at least), I'd be inclined to replace both of those - Single Slot, and Unlearned Skills Only - with a single Limitation, Cannot Raise Skill Above Attribute+0. Honestly, that's probably only worth -10%, but -20% wouldn't be egregious. Note you'd need 8 levels of it to be able to match Wild Talent when it comes to Very Hard skills, which would cost [28]. However, you could manage up to Hard skills with only 4 levels (which costs only [14]), the Modular Ability is much more versatile (with my tweaks, it can be applied to multiple easier skills at once, so long as none of them go above Attribute+0, and it can be swapped around for the 30 minutes it's available with each use), and it can be used much more frequently (in addition to lasting 30 minutes at a time instead of lasting for a single roll, you only have to wait an hour between uses, rather than having to wait until the next session of the game). So, yeah, Wild Talent is a bad deal.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:46 PM   #22
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Maximum Duration and Takes Recharge are not what you'd use to get a once per session use. You'd use Game Time (+0%) and Limited, 1/week (-60%). I'd probably build it as:

Slotted Cosmic Power 8 (Accessibility, Skill bonus cannot exceed base attribute, -20%; Game Time, +0%; Limited, 1/week, -60%; Reflexive, +40%; Trait-Limited, Unlearned Skills Only -20%) [19]
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:56 PM   #23
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
In addition to what others have said Wild Talent first came into the system early in 3e as "Natural Spellcasting" and was later gneralized (still in 3e). The costs then were purely eyeballed.
I saw it first as "Way of the Tao" (?), maybe in Martial Arts, but don't know if that predates Natural Spellcasting (which I don't recall seeing at all.)
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:02 PM   #24
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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I saw it first as "Way of the Tao" (?), maybe in Martial Arts, but don't know if that predates Natural Spellcasting (which I don't recall seeing at all.)
I also remember it as Way of the Tao...

Edit: No, it was Harmony with the Tao which is on p. 27 of GURPS Martial Arts 3e.

I see Natural Spellcasting on p. 41 of Compendium I though. Hmmm
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Last edited by Christopher R. Rice; 11-24-2021 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

"Harmony" makes much more sense! Better than "Way of the Way," which is why I was sure I'd misremembered it.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:22 PM   #26
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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"Harmony" makes much more sense! Better than "Way of the Way," which is why I was sure I'd misremembered it.
Harmony of the Tao is pretty simple. Natural Spellcasting has lots of niggly rules in it. The only way they seem similar is that they let you do a skill you don't have.

Natural Spellcasting in the GURPS Update booklet uses Wild Talent as a base, while Harmony with the Tao is just Wild Talent.

Ah well, back to the regularly scheduled thread.
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:39 PM   #27
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
I saw it first as "Way of the Tao" (?), maybe in Martial Arts, but don't know if that predates Natural Spellcasting (which I don't recall seeing at all.)
Very little predates Natural Spellcasting. It appeared in GURPS Witch World, which was IIRC GURPS's third licensed product, in 1989.
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:18 PM   #28
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

On the topic of modular abilities, the fundamental problem with modular abilities, alternate abilities, and the like, is that utility-based pricing (which is the only reasonable way to price exotic abilities) has to consider 'how often does it come up' and 'when it comes up, how important is it', and modular abilities basically eliminate the first consideration (since you won't allocate points when the ability isn't relevant). This either means modular abilities are either overpowered when applied to abilities that are rarely applicable (but important when they do come up), or underpowered when applied to abilities that are commonly useful, or both.

You can solve this with exemptions where only certain powers are eligible for variable effect frameworks (Champions did this, more or less, with 'special powers'), or by explicitly distinguishing between magnitude and frequency (for example, magic point systems are free to price purely on intensity, because frequency takes care of itself), but there's no really good general solution.
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Old 11-26-2021, 04:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

So there's this build for wild talent I've always wanted to try and I wonder if it would be a more viable use for the advantage

The character has a couple levels of wild talent with retention, but also unreliable

See the character has Partial Amnesia, zero skills and a pool of unspent points, and when they encounter something new they can try and see if they "remember" a skill they had before they lost their memory. For example if they pick up a sword they might go "Maybe I'm a sword fighter?" and roll for unreliable to see if they were.

This differs from total amnesia where the character's skills are already all there on the sheet and the player simply doesn't know what they are, and is probably a very cinematic use of wild talent

The tricky part for this build is that I'm not sure how to code the advantage in such a way that you HAVE to use retention if able on a success, and cant use it if you don't have the points to spend on retention in the first place. That and including a stipulation that says that if the character no longer has amnesia they lose wild talent entirely.

Could this work? If a player asked to use wild talent this way would you allow it?
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Old 11-28-2021, 12:51 AM   #30
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
On the topic of modular abilities, the fundamental problem with modular abilities, alternate abilities, and the like, is that utility-based pricing (which is the only reasonable way to price exotic abilities) has to consider 'how often does it come up' and 'when it comes up, how important is it', and modular abilities basically eliminate the first consideration (since you won't allocate points when the ability isn't relevant). This either means modular abilities are either overpowered when applied to abilities that are rarely applicable (but important when they do come up), or underpowered when applied to abilities that are commonly useful, or both.
The problem that's unique to MA and not things like alternate abilities is that it treats Skills as effectively alternate abilities, which is a pretty big no-no (partly because they already sort of are, most skills* don't really work at the same time as others). MA for skills only is roughly similar to an even wider Bang skill and I'd rather just make that (which I did, Boom! is x10 cost instead of x3 cost) and have it work like a skill instead of advantage.

*Let's not derail this conversation with Magic.

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Originally Posted by Shuckster View Post
The tricky part for this build is that I'm not sure how to code the advantage in such a way that you HAVE to use retention if able on a success, and cant use it if you don't have the points to spend on retention in the first place. That and including a stipulation that says that if the character no longer has amnesia they lose wild talent entirely.
A) There's a quirk for "forcing" yourself to spend points under certain circumstances. This sounds like a fine one.
B) Amnesia (Total) is -25pts, Wild Talent is 20pts. That means "buying off" Amnesia is only 5pts.
C) I have a 10pt new advantage (based on UB) that lets a player spend points on the fly. Wild Talent w/Retention does more than that because you also get a skill use out of it at attribute.
D) No, never. I don't like the idea of traits that force how the player sheet itself progresses. Having it be a guideline is perfectly acceptable. But forcing that on someone who didn't choose to have that trait (because of Amnesia) just seems like punishment.
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